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“So many pluses and minuses in the same place...”
Review of Sol Cayo Largo

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Sol Cayo Largo
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Reviewed 18 January 2011

Sol Cayo Largo is the best hotel on Cayo Largo island yet it is far from deserving 5 or 4 stars. The pluses are, first of all it's location. There is a very nice beach in front of the hotel complex and it's an hour walk to Playa Paraiso and one and a half hours of walk to Playa Sirena, two major beaches used by all of the hotels on the island. They have shuttles to those beaches, but we walked most of the time because it was a wonderful walk in the untouched, all natural part of the island. The sand of Cayo Largo never gets hot, so it's always a pleasure no matter what time of the day. Playa Paraiso is a smaller beach area, and has no shower and toilet -quite hard to understand how a place which calls itself "a beach" and sells food and drinks does not have a toilet and shower!- but has a wonderful sea. Playa Sirena has much more comfort but also has much more of a crowd too!
One of the minuses about the hotel and the beach organization is, although your lunch is included and although these beaches are used only by the all inclusive hotels guests, you have to pay extra if you eat there! The hotel gives you picnic boxes on demand, but the so called sandwich in the box is simply inedible! So you either pay extra and eat in the beach restaurants or rush back to the hotel in the middle of the day.
About the food in the hotel... well, we all know Cuba has so many financial problems and food is not abundant there. But, what needs to be improved is the quality of the meals not the variety. You don't have to have 10 different rice dishes, but you have to cook the ones you have properly. There was never salad greens in the salad buffet, that's understandable, but then one morning the green leafs were part of the breakfast buffet! Who eats green salads for breakfast? The cake section was full of cakes in different shapes but the same taste. And then one night they placed a huge pile of slivered nuts near the fish salads. It would be much better if those nuts were used in the cakes! There are so many strange combinations like this and it seems that the hotel cuisine needs a serious consultancy.
In the bar, non of the international drinks were "included". All you can have those cocktails which is basically a little Rom and lots of sugary somethings! If it is called all inclusive, it should be. I'd rather pay a few boxes more at the beginning than checking all the time for what is included and what is not.
The last two minuses are for the poor internet connection and the empty pool. Yes, there is an empty pool! I don't know if it was a swimming pool or not, but it is a big one and looks sooooo ugly in the middle of the garden.
The pluses are -other than the nature- all to the stuff. From the waiters to the cleaning ladies, from the front desk to the bartenders everybody works hard, always with a smiling face. All of the stuff does everything to please you and they are all very pleasant themselves.
The rooms are always clean, although a bit old. There is no use in paying extra for the oceanfront since there are dunes between the hotel and the ocean, only upper floors see the ocean from a distance. Poolside rooms -especially upper floors are much more pleasant. Indeed, that would be wonderful if they made a huge pool between the dunes and the hotel buildings! That area looks bare and boring.
All in all, it is an attractive place with it's nature and stuff, but needs to be improved in many aspects.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank foreignerIstanbul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 January 2011

Just returned from Sol Cayo Largo on Jan 14 and for the most part everything that has been posted by other travellers is true.

Food - Horrible in my opinion. Cold, sticky undercook pasta, cold tough beef or pork, undercooked rice etc. Having said that, this is the only problem I had with the entire resort...and I didn't go to cuba for the food so it didn't really bother me.

Room - We opted for the standard Oceanview room which was clean and spacious. We were met a few hours after checking into our room with a knock on the door and complimentary bottle of rum. The view was breathtaking and was nice to sit out at night and hear the waves crashing ashore.

Staff - Very nice, helpful and bilingual. They were always available and attentive at breakfast, lunch and dinner. They kept my wine glass topped up so I was very happy. Did I tip often? No not really. We usually sat in the same section at dinner of one restaurant and we tipped one girl one evening, the following two evenings we didn't tip anyone, the fourth night we tipped another girl and the service didn't change in my opinion.

Money Xchange - Very easy to do at the front desk and airport. I had to change some CUC's back to Canadian at the airport.

Beach - Absolutely faboulous!! We had good weather all week. The beach is clean with soft white sand. One day we walked a total of 3 hours and absolutely loved it. We left our towels and backpacks on the easy to find lounge chairs all this time to come back and find everything untouched. As most people mentioned, this resort has mostly adults, so I am sure that was a factor in our undisturbed backpacks and why the beach is so clean. No empty cups, cigarette butts, half eaten food etc. I would have to agree with another poster who mentioned that there are too many gay men trolling the beach however. The nudist were very respectful of their designated areas which I was also happy about.

Excursion - We took the excursion to Havana overnight with a stay at the Tropicana hotel. I was not interested in staying at the Tropicana as I wanted to explore the city on my own. So we worked out a deal where we stayed at the plaza hotel which is perfectly located between Old and New Havana. Havana is truly a step back in time. No idea how they keep all the old vintage cars on the road! Apparently the saying by Havanarios is that Cuban mechnanics are magicians not just mere mechanics. Very nice and proud people despite the poverty and poor housing. We had a great time in this city.

All in all we had a fantastic trip and would recommend Sol to anyone looking for RR for a week.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Darpat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2011

Dear Darpat:
Thank you very much for let us know your impressions about your stay in our hotel whose description so well it is really helpful in order to fix those details in your opinion might be better.
We hope to see you once more in our hotel or in other one by Sol Meliá Cuba.
Sincerely,
Fabrizio Testoni
General Manager
Sol Cayo Largo Hotel

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2011

This is our fourth trip to Cayo Largo and our second to Sol, We really enjoy the beach and that was one of the resons for another return trip.
These are the changes we found: (good) the food seems alot better as we had roasted chicken at lunch much of the stay and dinners at night were very good too, as far as Cuban food is concerned anyways. The wait staff were very good and attentive and seemed to enjoy serving you.
All week we had green flag days and the ocean was beautiful the whole time we were there. This is extremely rare and in fact has never happened before anywhere in Cuba so what a great treat.The warm water was great as well.
The resort itself was in nice shape, neat and well maintained as well as the pool. Staff kept our room fairly clean and left towel art of some sort.
Now the not so nice changes:
The pool snack bar was terrible and service stunk .. unless you tipped them every time they did something for you. The food wasn't very good and when you ordered fries, you got like 13 of them and they seemed to be a lot cooler if you forgot to tip the last time you were in. Eveyone seemed to have their hand out for tips but service wasn't there.
The beach was very nice as mentioned but getting chairs was impossible unless you get up @ 6:30 and left a towel to reserve. Poor amount of chairs and we had to walk about a 1/4 mile to find a chair, let alone a palapa! Why would they just go buy some chairs, always seemed to have a lot next door.
The biggest negitive change we saw were the gay boys trolling the beaches and making my wife and I uncomfortable at times. Yes nudity is allowed in some areas, but the trolling techniques were very obvious. What a shame.
It also appeared that more and more staff almost demanded a tip for doing anything at all and it was a lot more obvious that if you didn't tip, service was greatly affected while in other areas it appeared fine not to over tip.
Now would we be going back? Well probably... because mostly of the beach and water and for some reason really love going to Cayo Largo. If prices keep going up though, I think we will probably go somewhere else.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank ricksandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 22 January 2011

Dear Ricksandy:
Thank you very much for to have chosen our Sol Cayo Largo to enjoy once more your vacations in Cayo Largo and also for your comments on Trip Advisor, which actually we are taking in account for to solve those ¨not so nice changes¨ in order to improve our services and clients satisfaction.
It would be great if we could see you back in the future or in other hotel of Sol Meliá Cuba.
Regard,
Fabrizio Testoni
General Manager
Sol Cayo Largo Hotel

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Reviewed 4 January 2011

My husband and I visited this resort from December 5th to December 12th. I love that the airport is 5 minutes from the resort. No long 2 hour drive to get to the resort is very attractive to me. The resort is fairly small which is also nice. A 2 minute walk to the beach, buffet, entertainment, pool from my room.

The beach is absolutely breathtaking. One of the best beaches I have been to with out a doubt. It never really seemed to hard to get a lounger by the beach or pool -- BONUS, they had plenty for all.

The food was ok, not the best I have had in Cuba but you can always find somethinf to eat.

I thought the resort did lack in entertainment - the animation team was pretty much non existant during the day. Also they seemed to play the same CD by the pool 24/7 - after a couple of days it got fustrating to listen to the french music ALL DAY when I don't even speak french.

Over all the resort was nice, and worth the $$ I paid. Would I return? uhmmm my husband sure would in a heart beat. I would prefer to venture out to different parts of Cuba and go somewehre more upbeat. In my opinion I like Cayo Coco and Santa Maria better but it if you want a vaction to relax and unwind this is sure the place for you.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Stellaloves2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2011

Dear Stellalove:
Thank you for your valuable comments regarding your last stay in our Sol Cayo Largo hotel besides for to recommend the hotel. We are really pleased because we could see you have relaxed.
We have read carefully the detail about entertainment detail whose suggestion we will consider in order to achieve greater enjoyment and satisfaction of our clients during their vacations.
It would be a pleasure to welcome you back in the future in Sol Cayo Largo or in other hotel of Sol Meliá Cuba.
Sincerely,
Fabrizio Testoni
Director General
Hotel Sol Cayo Largo

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Reviewed 3 January 2011

It was a beautiful trip.The good thing is that Cayo largo is beautiful island.I think it's safe there because there are just tourists and people that work at the hotel & the hotels are near from the airport.
Sol cayo largo is one of the nicest hotels in cayo largo .We had friends that went to Sol Pelicano and the resort was nice too.Sol cayo largo is a bigger compared to Sol pelicano and our room was bigger .Anyway ,for the food it was good for CUBA.. .In the morning you have pancakes ,baken ,eggs. etc.. You have enough choices .

Everyone that worked at the resort were friendly.We didn't have any problems

The beach was beautiful but there are a lot of waves(it depends of the wheather).When we arrived the beachwas really calm but 2 days after it was windy.But you can have some privacy and enough space because it's really big .& there's a little train that brings to Paraiso beach and Sirena beach and it's not far from the hotel .The train is for free but there's a scheduel .Or you can take a taxi for 2 cuc .There's the turtle farm and the little village that you can visit.There's a bus at 10:30 that takes you there for free.

Finally ,we had a great time.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank lovesunvacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 January 2011

It was my 2nd time at this hotel. I complaint about bugs bed, they replace the sheet, than
they change the mattress. It wasn't enough I have to deal with the bugs for 10 days.
The firs time the music was local and cuban it was really great. Now they propose
american music, we can ear that one every single day. Pretty sad, that hotel is not
going in the right direction.

I wouldn't suggest that hotel to a friend.

Audi Ottawa

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled solo
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3  Thank AudiOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2011

Dear AudiOtawa:
Thank you for to have visited our hotel once again and also for let us know your impressions about your recently stay, which actually we are deeply concern because we could realize it was not as expected. We would like to mention that our staff try our best not only to work hard in improving our services and fulfil all client’s expectation but because we have special attentions for regulars ones.
We are taking note about your comments in order to review our standards in that sense. Our main objective is to reach a good memory of vacation in our guest.
We would like to see you again and please we would really appreciate if you let us know in advanced.
Best regards
Fabrizio Testoni
Director General
Hotel Sol Cayo Largo

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Reviewed 17 December 2010

Despite my 3-star rating of this resort, I still recommend it. We've been to different parts of Cuba many times, at different star ratings. Here is why I give this resort a 3/5 on Tripadvisor:

- Shortage of beach lounge chairs - the beach chair situation was competitive. We got in the habit of getting to the beach before breakfast to claim our spots before eating. And there was no staff to assist you with finding chairs or setting you up. Often times you'd see people struggling to look for chairs, and carrying chairs long distances. This should not be happening at a 4-star resort. Next door at the 3-star Sol Pelicano, there were often stacks of unused lounge chairs.
- No one to help us to our room. After checking in late in the evening, there is no one around to take you to your room. It was dark with very little lighting, and after a couple of wrong turns with two heavy pieces of luggage, we found our block at the opposite side of the resort.
- No welcome drink. I know it's minor, but this is the only resort in Cuba where we did not receive a welcome drink at check-in. We were actually looking forward to it on the bus ride in.
- Buffet entrance line-up. Sometimes there was a line-up to be seated in the buffet area due to limited capacity. I've never seen this before.
- Having to pay for late check-out. We checked in just in time for bed, so that's a day paid for that cannot be enjoyed. Then we had to check out for 12:00 pm even though our flight was in the evening. Of course, you're expected to pay for a few extra hours if you want a late check-out. I realize that this happens at other resorts, but that doesn't make it right. I think this is disrespectful to customers. Sometimes we're allowed to check-out late upon request, but not here.

The resort rooms and exteriors are the nicest we've seen in Cuba, and the beds were quite comfortable. We were in room 2012 facing the ocean (although you can't see it for the sand dunes/hills) right next to the path leading to the beach. I couldn't ask for a better location. It was a pleasure smoking Cuban cigars and drinking scotch on the balchony while taking in the landscape.

We were lucky with the weather - it was a dry heat and calm waters on all but part of one day. Although it was hot during the day, early mornings and evenings required a jacket/sweater. Also, the water was cold, making it an effort to go in.

Shout out: Alexander, the beach bartender, provided the best customer service. It was always a pleasure interacting with him, and well deserved tips/gifts.

Other tips:
-The turtle farm excursion is fun and inexpensive. We also got to visit an elementary school.
-Some cigars were quite a bit cheaper at the airport than the resort. Same box of cigars purchased for 20 pesos at resort were 15 pesos at the airport. If you go on the turtle excursion, you will stop by at a cigar and tourist shop as well.
-You hear a lot about Sirena beach in the reviews. But I thought the Paradiso beach areas was just as nice if not better. Highlight of Sirena for me is the starfish and large snails. To find them, just keep walking west along the beach past Sirena. They like to settle on the inlets.
-Snorkelling: There is some good snorkelling close to Paradiso, right on the beach (as you walk east back toward Sol Cayo Largo). A group of large sting-rays were spotted.

Shame on Canjet: If you can believe, our flight out was delayed by 3 hours (spent at the airport of course, not the resort) because of Canjet human error. The flight coming to get us was delayed in Santiago because Canjet staff forgot to bring tourist cards/visas for its inbound passengers. It took them 3 hours to sort this out with Cuban officials in Santiago before it could depart for us in Cayo Largo.

  • Stayed: December 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank product-of-canada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HGeneralManager, General Manager at Sol Cayo Largo, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2010

Dear guest:

Thank you for to have visited our hotel and also for to let us know your impressions about Sol Cayo Largo service, which actually we have taken as suggestions in order to improve the client’s satisfaction that it is our main objective .
We are glad that you are recommending our hotel and destination.
If you would like to return we beg you to contact to us for giving you the best attentions we were able in our hands.
Sincerely,
Fabrizio Testoni
Director General
Hotel Sol Cayo Largo

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sol Cayo Largo

Address: Cayo Largo del Sur | Archipiélago de los Canarreos, Cayo Largo 27900, Cuba
Phone Number:
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Cayo Largo
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Cayo Largo
Price Range: £134 - £298 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Sol Cayo Largo 3.5*
Number of rooms: 296
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Cayo Largo del Sur, in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. All Inclusive Four-Star resort with 296 rooms. Ideal for enjoying its pristine environment and for exploring its idyllic landscape and crystal-clear ocean bottom. The resort faces 600 meters of beach renowned for its perennially cool white-sand. Recommended for couples, weddings, honeymoons and groups.Guest Rooms296 rooms: 244 Standard, 34 Standard Ocean View, 10 Standard Superior Ocean View, 8 Junior SuiteDining3 Restaurants (A la Carta, Buffet, A la carte and mini-buffet), 1 Cafeterias, 3 Bars ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol Cayo Largo Hotel Cayo Largo
Sol Hotel Cayo Largo
Cayo Largo Cuba
Cayo Largo Sol Hotel
Sol Club Cayo Largo

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